Family reunions are known all over the world as occasions to gather all family members in one place. Some families have the custom of organising such events annually, and even on the same date every year. This is the best occasion to meet and talk to distant and very often forgotten relatives. A typical reunion takes the form of the formal party with dinner or supper. It can be organised at home, in the garden or at the restaurant. Any place you choose, you must remember that every country and every family have their unique traditions which are very important to preserve during such events.
Gathering all family members
The first and at the same time, the most critical step while organising a family reunion is inviting guests. Many families are dispersed, and they live in different cities or even countries. That’s why it may take a lot of time to reach some of the relatives and ask them to come on a specific day. It should be planned so that everyone could take a day off, organise their trip carefully and probably book some accommodation if the host cannot provide the overnight stay.
Organising the party
The next and the most exciting part of planning a family reunion is the party itself. In India, it can start with serving birthday cakes, when people feed one another. This common tradition suits perfectly the climate of a family gathering. Another sweet usually eaten is a laddu- a small soft ball made out of flour, butter and sugar. However, what is essential is the fact that all desserts should be served before dinner. Only then you can eat the main course.
One of the most interesting Indian traditions which one can incorporate into a family reunion is the blessing when family members pray together and ask for good fortune. It may be held both at the temple and at home. When the ritual takes place at home, it is usually performed by eldest women who give others their blessings. They do that, rotating around relatives a small flame burning on a wick and placed on a round silver plate. They can also put a tikka- the mixture of rice, butter, yoghurt and coloured powder on guests’ foreheads, it often happens during a birthday party. That’s how bindi is created. The whole ceremony is called Aarti, and it can be quite a significant addition to a family meeting.
Talking about a family reunion, it can’t go without family stories. It’s probably the most exciting part of the meeting, especially for the youth who can listen to their parents’ and grandparents’ life stories and love stories. In this way, new generations learn about family history and their ancestors’ experiences. It’s even better if you prepare a genealogical tree beforehand as a background to your storytelling because it’ll make your tales more vivid and convincing. Through these stories, adults can share family traditions and values with their descendants, which is so crucial to the strengthening of family bonds.
Finally, after all these activities, you can ask the youngest in the family to sing and dance. That will be the lovely ending of each family reunion. It’ll undoubtedly make everybody happy. At the end of the performance, children will probably bound down to touch the elders’ feet which they do to show them a great respect for giving them life and taking care of them. It’s a nice gesture, commonly met in the Indian culture.
Summing up, a family reunion is an excellent opportunity to meet all your family members, even those who live at the other end of the world. However, to make it perfect, you should have a detailed plan of what to do in advance. Thus, you should remember about inviting guests ahead of time, preparing delicious desserts and meals, asking the eldest women to give blessings, creating a large and precise family tree and engaging children in the meeting. After taking all these steps, you can be certain that your family reunion will be the best anyone could imagine. And for sure, everyone will come back again.